A music prodigy, head of her class, and well-liked in school, Emily Paulson decided early that embellishment paved the road to success. As she grew up, she figured out how to make the picture look even better - with a successful husband, five beautiful children, and all the required accompanying accoutrements.
Then along came social media, where those pictures of the perfect life grew her a following of women who believed that everything about Emily was #blessed #inspo. But behind the filtered façade was a reality filled with trauma, addiction, and dysfunctional behavior. From disordered eating to breaking the law and nearly destroying her marriage, Emily had been running from her own trauma for years. Living a life shot through with more self-destruction than she could track, Emily knew things had to change when she woke up one morning and realized that she was barely participating in the picture she had so carefully crafted.
Highlight Real: Finding Honesty and Recovery Behind the Filtered Life is the true story of what happens when a so-called perfect mother and businesswoman is forced to find reckoning with her past and build a future based on the authenticity she has always sought. Searingly honest, heartbreaking and packed with uncountable did-she-actually-just-say-that moments, Highlight Real is a memoir of healing as well as a fully modern look at what happens when the filters fall off and real life emerges into the light.
About the Author
EMILY LYNN PAULSON is a writer, Certified Professional Recovery Coach, TEDx Speaker and the Founder of Sober Mom Squad. She has discussed how to end the shame and stigma of mental health and substance use disorders on and in The Doctors, Parade, Today Parents, The Seattle Times and USA Today as well as on the websites Bustle and The Huffington Post. Sober since January 2, 2017, Emily's recovery path is focused on ruthless honesty, grace and self-love and she believes that sharing our truth with each other is the best resource of all. Paulson resides in Seattle with her husband and their five children. A contributor to The Addiction Diaries: Stories of Darkness, Hope and All That Falls In Between, you can find Emily on Instagram @highlightrealrecovery and on the web at www.highlightreallife.com.
- LISA SMITH, RECOVERY ADVOCATE, LAWYER AND AWARD-WINNING, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF "GIRL WALKS OUT OF A BAR"
"In Highlight Real, Emily Paulson has given women--not just those who struggle with alcohol but all women--a true gift. It is a page-turning, starkly honest account of a beautiful-on-the-outside life that was in truth a collision course of self-destruction. Highlight Real is the rare memoir that should be considered an instant classic in the addiction recovery genre."
RICA SPIEGELMAN, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF "REWIRED" AND "THE REWIRED LIFE"
"Highlight Real is honest, authentic and captivating. Emily Paulson's beautifully written memoir touches on how to recover from many of life's trials and tribulations. It's a book about resiliency, transparency and grace. A must read!"